Suntop Homes for Otto Tod Mallery for Tod Company (1938)

Ardmore, Pennsylvania
HW #24

The multi-family housing consists of a quadrant of four individual housing units. The units were built as an experiment to increase single family dwelling density in the suburbs, encompassing the ideas of the then popularized Broadacre City. When we spoke to one of the owners, he said that the houses were too small for a standard single family of today, and that many owners move out once they have kids. The dwellings are owned by private owners, who occasionally collaborate on advancements to the overall housing complex. For example, the planters along the entrance were a part of the original design, but the wood panel fences were added by the owners to further induce privacy. Each 2300 square foot two storey apartment consists of an exterior carport and a living room on the bottom floor, and a work space, dining area, one bedroom with a balcony, and the upper level of the living room on the top floor. In the 40’s, one of the residents was seriously damaged due to fire and although the rest was restored more or less to the original, the balcony was installed without the necessary steel I-beams. (how, I don’t know.) I assume the photo below (b) is the reinstallation of the balcony from that apartment, with its insides completely torn apart. In fact, none of the balconies cantilevering over the entry and carport seemed to be in great condition as they all had to be additionally supported with columns due to sagging.